The news that Communist Party cells are to be established in all Chinese social organizations is the latest signal that “business as usual” for NGOs in China, both domestic and foreign, may be coming to an end. This most recent provision raises the specter of PONGOs (Party-organized NGOs) joining the ranks of the Orwellian-sounding GONGOs (government-organized nongovernmental organizations) as yet another addition to the lexicon of social organizations with Chinese characteristics.
After decades of internal discussion about the role of NGOs, the Party is now clarifying its position, coming down squarely on the side of greater government control. Observers believe these measures are aimed specifically at organizations pushing for social reform in areas that the Party deems sensitive.
Here is some further reading on the background of this discussion and where it might be headed:
- Draft NGO Law: A Roundup of Reactions
- A New Day for Foreign NGOs?
- One Step Closer to an NGO Law
- Law and Policy Trends that Affect NGOs and Social Enterprises in China
- China’s Schizophrenic NGO Policy
- Under the Microscope?
- How Many NGOs does China Really Have?
Image courtesy of Untitled by Dan Nevill, on Flickr
Brent Fulton is the founder of ChinaSource. Dr. Fulton served as the first president of ChinaSource until 2019. Prior to his service with ChinaSource, he served from 1995 to 2000 as the managing director of the Institute for Chinese Studies at Wheaton College. From 1987 to 1995 he served as founding …View Full Bio
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